PARC Computer Forum on Mockingbird, a music scoring system running on the Dorado computer (1980)
Mockingbird was the first screen-based computer music scoring system. It was built at Xerox PARC in 1980 by Severo M. Ornstein and John T. Maxwell. It's purpose was to explore the assistance that computers might provide to composers, especially those who utilized a piano keyboard in the process of composition. Midi didn't exist back then, so we modified an early synthesizer and invented an equivalent method for communication between the computer and the synthesizer. The program ran on the Dorado, a PARC-designed then-powerful personal computer. The system was never commercialized but many modern scoring systems have borrowed ideas that were first demonstrated in Mockingbird. There are two videos that show the system in operation: one from an early demonstration at a PARC Forum lecture, and the other a more detailed exposition of the final system.